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Old 01-03-2013, 12:34 PM   #1
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Sunseeker vs. Forester - Why? Need Input

My wife and I would appreciate the boards insight into a couple Class C models.

We purchased our first “camper” if you will, this past summer. We currently have a brand new 2013 Coachmen Freedom Express 292 BHDS travel trailer pulled by our 2012 Nissan Armada Platinum. Have had the 292 BHDS since July. Good trailer, haven’t had any serious issues with it. Seems to be a quality unit.

That said, we have learned a few things in the few months we have had it. We are in the very early stages of considering a purchase of a Class C from Forest River. Right now I think our two main interests are:

- Sunseeker 3010 DS on the Ford Chassis
- Forester 3011 DS on the Ford Chassis

Layout, these two are pretty much the same. My questions to y’all.

- Which is higher end, the Sunseeker or the Forester? I cannot really tell from the websites, etc.
- Which do you prefer and why?
- Based upon the floor plan, are you aware of a better option, and why do you think?
- Is the quality the same in both the Sunseeker and Forester?

Any other advice you can offer as we begin our search for a Class C? We appreciate all the insight you can provide.
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:09 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burati1 View Post
My wife and I would appreciate the boards insight into a couple Class C models.

We purchased our first “camper” if you will, this past summer. We currently have a brand new 2013 Coachmen Freedom Express 292 BHDS travel trailer pulled by our 2012 Nissan Armada Platinum. Have had the 292 BHDS since July. Good trailer, haven’t had any serious issues with it. Seems to be a quality unit.

That said, we have learned a few things in the few months we have had it. We are in the very early stages of considering a purchase of a Class C from Forest River. Right now I think our two main interests are:

- Sunseeker 3010 DS on the Ford Chassis
- Forester 3011 DS on the Ford Chassis

Layout, these two are pretty much the same. My questions to y’all.

- Which is higher end, the Sunseeker or the Forester? I cannot really tell from the websites, etc.
- Which do you prefer and why?
- Based upon the floor plan, are you aware of a better option, and why do you think?
- Is the quality the same in both the Sunseeker and Forester?

Any other advice you can offer as we begin our search for a Class C? We appreciate all the insight you can provide.
forester has slightly higher end. what i suggest is print the brochures of each.
then look at last page of each brochure. there will be some differences even if at first glance they look the same-forester has some superior upgrades
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:47 PM   #3
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Thank you for your input.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:51 PM   #4
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As for your last question, quality would be the same between the two.

With all credit due to bclemens, he posted this list of Forester upgrades vs a Sunseeker on 12/14/12:
• Skirt Paint (Standard)
• Vinyl soft-touch ceiling
• Recessed glass LED light fixtures
• Fiberglass running boards
• Serta Eurotop mattress (Standard)
• Fiberglass front cap (Standard)
• Carpet (lino throughout optional)
• LED Floor Lighting (Night Light)
• Hidden Hinges
• Cedar Lined Closets
• Outside Security Light
• Cabinet over doorway

As you can see, the Forester has more plush touches than the Sunseeker. The guts of the two units are the same.

Some of the items above can be optioned on a Sunseeker such as the upgraded mattress & fiberglass front cap (honestly, I don't recall ever seeing a new Sunseeker without the fiberglass front cap).

What you might want to do is find a dealer you most want to work with (location, price, like him, etc). He probably would carry either one or the other. Then buy that brand.

Just one other random thought - I think this way so take it for what it's worth - if you flip this unit as quickly as your current unit (6 months) or even in the next few years, I think it might be harder to recoup the extra dollars from the Forester. Let's just speculate it's X thousand dollars higher. A person looking at, say, a 3 year old used unit is doing so to save dollars & might prefer a lower priced, basic (but still comfortable) Sunseeker over a higher priced, more plush Forester. Just something to consider...
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:14 PM   #5
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paulmlac, thank you very much for this information. You make very good and valid points on the topic.

I am really leaning towards a Forester.

Regarding the trade in aspect. I wish my wife would have been more patient when we started looking this last summer and I wish I would have been educated on the topic as if we had been, I would have bought into a Class C from the get-go.

Don’t get me wrong, we are happy with the FE 292 BHDS from Coachmen as it is very well appointed, well built (so far) with only a few issues, and we got a killer deal on it. There are just things I wish we had, like:

- Fiber glass roof
- Multiple slides
- Enclosed sewer valves and water intake
- Slide out covers
- Ladder to the roof
- Back up camera (don’t ask)
- Generator
- An actual shower instead of the midget tub
- Upgraded toilet
- Storage
- Wired for Satellite TV
- Wired and mounted outdoor TV (we and our friends follow sports very closely)
- More than one TV inside that was mounted
- All these to just name a few

We probably won’t buy one for another 6-12 months as I will be certain my wife doesn’t get involved until I have found what we want, then she can come in and customize it (fabrics, etc).

I really wish Forest River would allow for buying factory direct and allow for client specific customization. I’d love to fly there and point at the things I wanted, didn’t want or repositioned.

Again, thank you very much for taking the time to educate me. I do sincerely appreciate the advice.

Happy Camping!
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:40 PM   #6
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We have a 2011 Sunseeker 3010DS that we bought recently. The dealer also had a 2012 Forester 3011DS right next to the one we bought. We saved over $15,000 and can't really tell much difference. Ours has the full body paint and upgraded mattress, etc. Ours coach only had 3700 miles, so it was basically new. Since we bought it, we have had several people come and ask to look inside. I would not have opted for the full body paint if I was ordering because I thought it was too expensive, but it sure makes people stop and look at your coach. I think it could help the resale value, too.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:13 PM   #7
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Thank you for the information, stonekeeper. How is the model to drive? Any power loss once you have it loaded and on the road??
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:19 PM   #8
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My husband says it is great to drive. Much better than a large U-Haul. :-)

We recently drove over Monteagle mountain (around Chattanooga, TN) in the snow and it did just fine. We have been going kind of slow (60-65mph) and using cruise control to save gas. Our previous RV was a diesel on a Sprinter chassis. It got about 22mpg. This one gets about 8.5-9mpg if we are conservative. That takes a little getting used to...although diesel is almost $1.00 per gallon more, so it probably winds up being close to the same. The Sprinter was totally different to drive. Pros and cons to both. I think the Sunseeker and Forester would be pretty much the same to drive. Our coach has the air suspension thing.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:32 PM   #9
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I agree with burati2 - compare the standard and optional features of the Forester to the Sunseeker carefully, then buy whatever satisfies you the best. The Forester uphostery was nicer, but the carpet was the same quality, just more coverage in the Forester.

We ordered our 2011 Sunseeker 3100 in July 2010 through our local dealer. A friend had just purchased a Forester from the same dealer. We looked closely at the differences and ordered ours with just the options we wanted, some of which were standard on the Forester. I don't think there were any Forester standard features that we wanted that we couldn't get.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:35 PM   #10
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I have a 2012 3120 and opted for the paint and Jacks. Definitely recommend the paint option but not so much the jacks. I store it inside. The paint will hold up better than gelcoat and decals if you store it outside but you still should have a cover. Considering the total cost of the unit, an extra 10K for a pole building to store it in is well worth it in my opinion. The Forester is thousands more than the Sunseeker. Unless you want the standard features of the Forester, the Sunseeker is the better value and I believe sell a lot more. Find dealers in the your area or RV shows that have each and take a look. The 3010/3011 and 3170/3171 are popular floor plans and usually stocked by dealers not like the rarer 3120. Forest River will make some custom changes by request if they are not too major. Good luck.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:48 PM   #11
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I do think that LED lights are a big deal
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:29 AM   #12
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Thank you to everyone for taking the time to share your expertise with my wife and I. We sincerly appreciate the advice and y'all very much! (FYI, I can now say y'all as we now live in San Antonio).
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:34 PM   #13
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If I may ask one more question. What kind of financing do lenders typically offer on a Class C? 10 years? 15 years? 20 years? Thoughts??
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Old 01-21-2016, 08:50 AM   #14
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I too am considering both these models. I prefer the quality of the forester. Saw both side by side at the camping show and will buy the forester if the price comes down a little.
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Old 01-21-2016, 04:44 PM   #15
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We also ordered our coach. A sunseeker with sat, jacks, cap, 15k heat pump, and grill. The grill for us was a bust as it took up to much room (take a look at the albums), we changed it out with a smaller unit. For our take we love the jacks, and we have a small footprint but life is simplifed. For a period of time I think they used auto satabilizing and not auto level. You want the auto level. It a shame that I heard that they do not install satt any longer as many extended warr covers all installed factory options, our does. We changed out our (917?) bulbs with leds, total cost around $70.

Each to their own but we stayed at the lower price point and added options instead. I think this yeilds a longer and higher value given the different in base price. I guess we are still camping and not coaching.

Oddly my first concern when I compared the two models was how to service (fix a tear or crack) in a soft ceiling. But then I dont like metallic paint either.....
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Old 01-21-2016, 07:08 PM   #16
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I "had" to choose a Sunseeker. The nearest dealer that carried Forester models is almost 200 miles away. I needed a servicing dealer closer to my house.

I added all the options to my Sunseeker which probably brings it up close to a Forester. Plus, now the Sunseeker comes standard with many of the features of the Forester including led lighting, etc. Still, with all the options added to my Sunseeker, it still was several thousand dollars cheaper than a Forester.
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Old 01-22-2016, 09:42 AM   #17
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Sunseeker comes with similar options as the forester but you can't upgrade to the forester upgrades on a Sunseeker.


Forester VS Sunseeker

  • Glass Covered LED lighting VS Push Button LED lighting
  • Solid Surface Coutner tops VS pressed Counter tops
  • Hidden Hinges VS Visible Hinges
  • Cedar Backed Closets VS Décor Board
  • Standard Skirt Paint VS White Fiberglass with graphics
  • Fiberglass Running Boards (Standard) VS Aluminum running boards
  • LED floor lighting
  • Forester has an upgraded Maxx Air fann
  • Soft Touch Vinyl Ceilings VS Hard Touch
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Old 01-22-2016, 10:04 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Joshua Cavitt View Post
Sunseeker comes with similar options as the forester but you can't upgrade to the forester upgrades on a Sunseeker.


Forester VS Sunseeker

  • Glass Covered LED lighting VS Push Button LED lighting
  • Solid Surface Coutner tops VS pressed Counter tops
  • Hidden Hinges VS Visible Hinges
  • Cedar Backed Closets VS Décor Board
  • Standard Skirt Paint VS White Fiberglass with graphics
  • Fiberglass Running Boards (Standard) VS Aluminum running boards
  • LED floor lighting
  • Forester has an upgraded Maxx Air fann
  • Soft Touch Vinyl Ceilings VS Hard Touch
Now Joshua,maybe F/R cant (Upgrade) but there are Lots of Members on Here and Frog that Can and Have performed Upgrades & Mods that Far surpass the list above! Youroo!!
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Old 01-22-2016, 10:09 AM   #19
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If there is a will there is a way! I've seen some cool mods on here the last couple weeks. Keep them coming!
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Old 01-22-2016, 11:31 AM   #20
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I like to think the comparison between the Forester and Sunseeker is the same as the comparison between Itasca and Winnebago. The Itasca has the same floor plans as Winnebago, it just has upgraded furniture and fixtures, and Itasca costs more.
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